Poland aims to develop shale gas extraction tech within 36 months

13 July 2012 16:43  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Poland aims to develop original technology for shale gas and shale oil extraction within 36 months with a zlotych (Zl) 1bn ($289.9m, €237.5m) research and development programme, the Polish treasury ministry said on Friday.

The National Centre of Research and Development and the Industrial Development Agency (ARP) are each contributing Zl250m to the programme, it added.

The remainder of the funding would be sourced from state-controlled companies involved in shale gas exploration that were expected to join the initiative, including oil and petrochemical groups PKN Orlen, Grupa Lotos and gas monopoly PGNiG, the ministry said.

Poland has been under fire from analysts for informally banning domestic companies from launching business cooperations with foreign partners in shale gas exploration.

In mid-May investment bank WOOD & Company noted Polish ministers seemed to be easing the ban, but reiterated that it was “difficult to imagine that Poland can successfully explore, develop and produce shale gas exclusively using state-controlled companies engaged in various [unrelated] sectors”.

The Polish government's hopes of replacing a large proportion of imported Russian gas with shale gas suffered a setback in late June when Exxon Mobile Corp pulled out of its shale gas exploration efforts in Poland saying the early wells it had drilled had not shown strong gas flow rates. Poland currently covers around two-thirds of its gas requirements with imports from Russia.

($1 = Zl3.45, €1 = Zl4.21)

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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